The Third Master (Erh Tung Sheng, aka Derek Yee, in the role that launched his career) is considered to be the greatest sword master of the day. His displays of skill and strength bring ... See full summary »
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
International favorite, David Chiang, stars as the great Chih Shim, the monk who saved the Southern Shaolin Temple. Joining him is Lo Lieh, the Shaws' first international star who returns ... See full summary »
Shaolin Mantis (Orig. Tang lang) is a 1978 Shaw Brothers film directed by Lau Kar-leung. Starring David Chiang and Liu Chia Hui. Shaolin Mantis tells the story of a man who learns martial arts by observing a praying mantis.
Chi Ming-sing is a former disciple of a gang run by overlord Yoh Xi-hung. Yoh's disciples hunt Chi relentlessly as he travels on a soul-searching journey. He comes to the aid of a seemingly... See full summary »
Continues the story of the sentimental swordsman three years after the events in the last film. This time the story is more melancholy and thoughtful which is a surprise for a Yuen Chor directed film. The swordsman, played by Ti Lung, is a depressed alcoholic who finds himself pulled back into the intrigues of the martial world against his will.
The "martial world" is an odd genre, sort of like a western but with almost no interaction with regular society. Imagine a Hollywood western where nearly everyone is a crack shot and spending all their time dueling each other. Even samurai dramas will spend some time with other concerns but martial world dramas are almost non-stop fighters sparring with each other or preparing to fight each other. And there are frequently dozens of characters to keep track of. Most of these films are based on published novels so the original audience had a head start. Once you are prepared for this kind of film then it'll be easier to enjoy.
This film revolves around the turmoil of the sentimental swordsman with about six other main characters to follow which is less than the usual martial world film. There's some good melodrama as a number of the characters are actually concerned about something emotional other than who is the best martial artist. There is an amount of Chinese philosophy quoted which is interesting to hear.
The photography is excellent as well as the set design which is good since 95% of the film is on sets. The music sounds a lot like Akira Ikufube (Gojira, Zatoichi) but since there is a music credit I guess it wasn't lifted. The fight scenes are very theatrical but enjoyable.
Recommended for the Shaw fan.
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